Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lamb Chorizo Sausage over Orzo with Roasted Peppers

Have you figured out yet that I. LOVE. CHORIZO?  Usually, I use the soft soy-based stuff from Trader Joe's because it has a nice flavor and texture that goes well with some of my favorite chorizo applications (chorizo & eggs, chorizo tacos, etc).

However comma.... When I picked up my meat share last weekend I got a very VERY welcomed surprise. 

Lamb.  Chorizo.  Sausage.  (>squeeeeee!<)

This lamb chorizo is so special to me that I couldn't imagine mixing it with anything that might mask its flavor (i.e. eggs).  Oh no, these little links of joy needed to be in the spotlight.  The first dish I chose to make with one of those links was a simple pasta-salad type thing, with grilled chorizo on top for a little kick.

    ~ serves 2 as a main dish
1 link (approx. 150grams) lamb chorizo sausage from Stillman's Farm, sliced into 1/2" rounds
2 oz orzo pasta
1 oz quinoa
2 bell peppers (I used red and yellow)
1 onion, quartered
2 oz reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
2 small scallions, chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

1) Roast the peppers and onion in a 400F oven until the skins are charred, about 30 min, rotating once or twice during the roasting.
2) Place the roasted peppers in a plastic back or tupperware container to cool (this makes removing the skins SO. MUCH. EASIER.
3) Let the peppers cool for about 10min, then peel off the skins and chop the peppers and onions into bite sized pieces.
4) While waiting for the peppers to cool, start a pot of boiling, salted water.  Once at a rolling boil, add the quinoa and cook for 7-10min, then add the orzo and continue boiling until the orzo is al dente, about 8-9 more minutes.
5) Drain the pasta/quinoa mixture and add the olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Toss to coat.
6) Add the peppers, onion, garlic, feta and mint to the pasta/quinoa salad.  Toss it all together and let it sit for at least 30min, stirring occasionally, to let the flavors incorporate.
7) Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet to medium-high heat.  Add the lamb chorizo and cook 3min on each side or until cooked through to your liking.
8) Put the pasta/quinoa salad in a bowl and top with the hot lamb chorizo.  Enjoy immensely. 

I loved this and could have easily woofed down a second helping.  Boyfriend's only suggestion was that he would have liked more meat and more feta.  Predictable.
And, not to preach, but this just goes to show AGAIN why it is so amazing to be a member of a Community Supported Agriculture program.  Not only do I get a chance to enjoy fresh, handmade, LAMB chorizo, but I personally know and support the people that grow my meat and vegetables.  Yeah, I said "grow" my meat, because the environment that my lamb was born into and GREW up in is in stark contrast to other poor animals who live in the stressful, inhumane environment of factory farming.  I wish that everyone could experience the personal joy I get from eating locally and supporting my community and a local small business.  If you are interested in joining a CSA, trust me, its worth it.  If you don't know how or where to find local, sustainable food, check out Local Harvest and learn about what's available in your town.

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